100-year-old herb doctor still making medicines

Published: 05/03/2009 05:00



In the central province of Ha Tinh, there is a 100-year-old woman who is devoted to her patients. She is known for her talent and her kind-heartedness. She is called Ba Thay (Mrs. Herb Doctor).

Ba Thay and an old patient.

According to her descendants, the name Ba Thay appeared several decades ago. This name was created by patients, mainly women, who were cured by Ba Thay. This name has become famous in Ha Tinh.

Ba Thay of poor patients

Ba Thay’s real name is Nguyen Thi Hai. She was born in 1909 in Ha Tinh province. She started working as an herb doctor at the age of 22. She is now 100 years old and has been making medicines for nearly 80 years. At the age of 100, Ba Thay still treats poor patients.

In the last 80 years, Ba Thay’s remedies have cured thousands of patients, most of them poor people suffering from chronic diseases such as goiters, sinusitis, hemorrhoids, stomachaches, infertility, and women’s diseases.

Ba Thay is known for her talent and kind-heartedness by patients from many provinces and cities, such as Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Hai Duong, Hanoi, HCM City, etc. She has never accepted money from poor people. The old herb doctor is living in an old, small house with her daughter.

Ba Thay’s family has been involved with oriental medicines for four generations. She inherited valuable knowledge about oriental medicines from her father. When she was 18, she learnt secrets of oriental medicines from a Chinese doctor and since then she has combined Chinese and Vietnamese remedies.

She got married to a state employee who worked in Laos. After the wedding, she followed her husband to Laos in 1936. In seven years in Laos, she collected some valuable remedies to enrich her knowledge of oriental medicines. She combined Vietnamese, Lao and Chinese remedies to make her own remedies to cure many Lao patients.

At the age of 36, after her husband passed away, she returned to Vietnam’s Nghe An province. She lived in a pagoda named Dai Ly to work as an herb-doctor before returning to Ha Tinh.

The mother of many children

Ba Thay still remembers some special patients she saved and who became her children.

She said in 1984, a woman named Le Thi Xuan from Nghi Xuan district, Ha Tinh province came to Ba Thay to cure three diseases, hemorrhoids, cysts, and kidney failure. Xuan’s family had taken her everywhere for treatment but the patient hadn’t improved. At that time, the family thought there was no chance for her.

Accidentally, Xuan’s relatives heard about Ba Thay. The family hurriedly took the patient to Ba Thay’s house with great hope.

After five days of treatment by acupuncture and traditional oriental remedies, the woman felt much better. She had completely recovered after three weeks. Since then, Ba Thay has been Xuan’s second mother.

Ba Thay has another “son”, Tran Van Nguyen from Thach Ha district, Ha Tinh province. “At 5pm one day in June 1997, I was on the road to my relative’s home in Thach Ha district when I saw a boy of around 3 years old lying in a bamboo basket. His face was very pale. His family said the boy was nearly dead so they put him in the basket to prepare for burial,” Ba Thay recalled.

She told the boy’s parents, who were crying, that she could cure the boy and asked them to bring the boy back to the house. She told them to prepare two boiled eggs and a cup of green tea. She pulled out three needles and lanced the boy’s stomach. Around 15 minutes later, the boy regained consciousness.

Ba Thay gave the boy two boiled eggs and the cup of green tea. After eating, the boy looked healthy. The family asked the doctor to consider the boy as her son. In early 2009, the family invited Ba Thay to the boy’s wedding party but she couldn’t come.

After telling us these two stories about her patients, Ba Thay looked tired so we left her to rest. But we believe that these are but a few examples of many stories about patients rescued by this old woman.

At the age of 100, Ba Thay is transferring her remedies to her daughter, who will follow her in charity work.

Thanh Sen

Provide by Vietnam Travel

100-year-old herb doctor still making medicines - Profiles - In depth |  vietnam travel company

You can see more

enews & updates

Sign up to receive breaking news as well as receive other site updates!

Ads by Adonline